As you know vinylspindivision.com is a vinyl specific website (it’s in the name) and recently I was approached on Facebook by a user aspiring to become a Vinyl Spin Division crew member.
His initial question was “can I join the crew if I spin on DVS?” Well this was a tricky one and got me thinking deeply! After some careful thought, my decision was no and I will share why.
The guy had a very similar history to mine, which I am sure resonates with many VSD visitors and subscribers. Used to spin vinyl back in the day (late 80s, early 90s in my case) and then took a break for one reason or another. The bug hits again, the calling is too strong and before you know it, the shed is cleared out and filled up with the latest DJ kit to add to the dusty old 1200s you simply couldn’t part with (much to your partner’s disgust) that have been in storage for over a decade!
You’re back and want to get on this social media bandwagon and teach these kids about ’the true art of DJing’. You create yourself a brand and look to become the next big DJ all safe in the knowledge you used to mix properly, not like the sync using, button pushers of today! Well, its not long before reality kicks in and you remember just how much vinyl costs these days and now you have responsibilities the spare cash is not quite so free-flowing as it once was in the carefree days of yesteryear! So you think to yourself, I know, I’ll give that digital vinyl thing a go! That’s real vinyl isn’t it?
Well as with all music technology it divides opinion and some think it’s cheating and some don’t! My view is this; if you have the laptop in front of you and are able to see the bpm or the phase meter then it cannot be classed as vinyl mixing in the true sense, however if the laptop is out of sight then it is as close to the real thing as you are ever likely to get with all the benefits of every track (in digital file format) available at your finger tips.
This brings me on to my next point! They say house is a feeling! Well to me, vinyl and the buying of records is all about a feeling! My love affair with records was written into my DNA from birth. As a lot of you, my father was a vinyl junkie, a complete music head and records were ever present growing up and the smells and the artwork captured my imagination from an early age. Every record I have ever bought has a story attached to it. My journey to buy it, the interactions with the store owner, what attracted me to that particular record, the information I learned from the cover etc etc.. Then there are the memories whilst playing it, the times it got you through and the times the dance floor erupted when you dropped it! We lived for records, we worked hard to be able to buy records, we begged and traded records like Pokemon cards! It was an experience from start to finish.
You simply don’t get all that with MP3s and WAVs etc., but what you do get is instant access to pretty much every track you have ever dreamed of owning. Also if you are a DJ paling out using DVS, all you need is a laptop and a couple of DVS vinyls. Now I remember the feeling of dragging two very large flight cases full of records to the kebab van at 4 in the morning every Friday and Saturday night and probably accounts for my orangutan arms I have today, so I really see the appeal of DVS. I am starting to feel guilty for saying no to that guy now! Having said that though, it’s not vinyl in the true sense and we have to stay true to the ethos of vinyl only DJing and mixing!
What do you guys think?